Make no mistake! Top tips to prevent coding errors
posted on 19 December, 2018 by Anurag Mitra
We’re all living in an increasingly fast-paced environment. Today’s snack food manufacturing lines are producing more products, in more formats and at faster speeds than ever before, adding extra pressure on date coding requirements. Nevertheless, getting product codes right is crucial to any food manufacturer as it not only helps improve supply chain efficiency, traceability and transparency but also provides customers with vital product information. Today, getting date codes right is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.
A costly mistake
Coding errors are costly and can affect the entire production line. From illegible prints to missed or miscoded bags, coding errors can result in product waste, regulatory fines, reduced plant efficiency, and, in the worst-case scenario, loss of consumer confidence as a result of product recalls. Although the reasons for coding errors are vast, in most cases errors happen due to operator mistakes and range from incorrect data entry to improper equipment setup to simply selecting the wrong program for the job.
So how can these costly errors be prevented?
Automation and simplification
Although the vision of a ‘lights-out’ factory has certainly become a lot closer to reality than ever before, completely eliminating operator involvement in the date coding process is not yet an option. However, the latest date coding technology makes it possible to restrict input to just a few key points where the process requires it. For example, technologies such as airless Thermal Transfer Overprint (TTO) printers, no longer require operators to check air pressure or ribbon tension, creating a fully automated, continuous coding operation. In addition, a simple user interface that is easy to operate can further prevent operators from entering incorrect data or selecting the wrong job number. That way, there is less chance for errors being introduced on the production floor.
Integrated code assurance
Another aspect that should be considered when trying to prevent code errors is the time it takes to detect and rectify the mistakes.
A lot of production lines still rely on visual checks to ensure that the codes are legible and correct. Coders with integrated code assurance technology can do the job much quicker and more accurately than any human eye. By checking for errors in real-time, mistakes can be spotted and rectified within minutes, ensuring the line is up and running again in no time.
Rest assured with iAssure
At tna, we’re committed to making your production line run as smoothly as possible. Our new tna intelli-date 5 is one of the most advanced date coders on the market. Equipped with an easy-to-use operator interface and integrated iAssure™ technology, the tna intelli-date 5 is able to automatically detect any common print defects in real-time, including those caused by ribbon creases, overprints or worn print surfaces. Any mismatch between the intended and the captured image will be evaluated on the spot and trigger an alert to minimise waste and reduce downtime. Contact us now to find out how our new tna intelli-date 5 airless date coder can help you minimise coding errors.